Looking Back: When UMass Showed Up With No Drums At The CMBF

Wesley Sullivan is the Senior Right and Acquisition Manager here at FloMarching. He has been a member of Drum Corps International's The Cadets, Spartans, and the University of Massachusetts Marching Band. Below is his story of performing in the 2002 Collegiate Marching Band Festival:

As the drum bus pulled up next to J. Birney Crum Stadium, I felt the odd twist of nerves in my stomach. I had five years of what was then Division II DCI experience under my belt, including two World Championships, but I had never performed in such a historic venue. The nine of us in the snare line had spent the entire bus ride working on the drum feature, and we started our normal pre-show approach: we joked around.

I was always in awe of the vets in the line at that point. They were so relaxed, so self-assured. Then again, the experience most of the line brought to the table was outrageous. Four members were just off a summer winning a Fred Sanford the past summer. One marched Boston '00 and '01. One marched Glassmen '02. (If you're reading this, and not familiar with the Glassmen snare lines of '01 and '02, go to YouTube right now.) One marched Crossmen '99. I learned more that fall than at almost any other point in my snare drumming career. I had not yet learned the completely relaxed approach to pre-show. That would come later.

We finished a rep. Our percussion instructor, Thom Hannum. stepped onto the bus and uttered a line that continues to live on in UMass lore:

The truck is not here. The truck is not going to be here.
WHAT?!!?

All of us thought it was a joke. No drums for warmups or the show? What would we do? Luckily, we had all been practicing on the bus trip, and we had our practice pads with us. We filed out of the drum bus in half uniforms with our Real Feels. We found a long area of curb and proceeded through our normal warmup routine.

I've never seen a more disappointed lot crowd in my entire life. UMass, routinely one of the lines people attend the Collegiate Marching Band Festival to watch, was going to warm up on pads? Some people walked away. You couldn't hear anything.

I don't remember whose drums we borrowed. It was from at least two other groups. We had eight snares that were from one line, and one guy got stuck with a drum from a different group. We had six or seven basses (I forget) so we certainly had to use drums from at least two different schools there too. Looking back, I have absolutely no idea how the pit somehow managed to cobble anything together, let alone the electronics they used that day.

I asked some members of the line that year what they remembered. The general consensus from the tenor line was, "We broke literally all the heads." At least three people remember our bottom bass, who had monster power and quality of sound and destroyed both of his heads as well.

At the time, it seemed chaotic and stressful. But as we look back on it 15 years later, I remember it with a smile and a chuckle. You see, that's the beauty of the Collegiate Marching Band Showcase. It's not a stressful competition for which you need to be nervous beforehand. It's a fun day when you can watch a lot of great college bands, and anyone will do anything to help out a group when they find out that "the truck will not be here."

See the 2002 UMass drum feature in all its glory below, and tune in to see if their truck does in fact make it to Allentown, PA, this year on October 1.


WHEN THEY DO HAVE DRUMS




null


How to Watch

ON TV: Available on Roku and Apple TV 4 -- download the FloSports app now.
STREAMING: Only on FloMarching with a PRO subscription. A yearly PRO subscription provides access to ALL FloSports sites. Join Now


Join The Conversation On Social

• Follow us on Twitter @FloMarching
• Follow us on Instagram @FloMarching
• Follow us on Facebook

FloMarching's hottest content, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss breaking news, feature stories, event updates, and more. Sign up for the FloMarching mailing list today.

Everything You Need To Know About Watching DCI Finals

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

Here's the quick and dirty for everything you need to know about the 2018 DCI World Championship finals.

Mandarins Win Fan Favorite In First Ever World Finals

Carolina Crown Goes Beast Mode In Allentown

Also... we couldn't resist.

Bands Of America 2018 Streaming Schedule

The 2018 Bands of America season has a total of 22 events across 12 different states this fall and every single performance will be streamed live on FloMarching.

DCI World Champs: How To Watch, Times, & LIVE Stream

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

Are you ready for hours upon hours of drum corps this week? Well, we've got that hook up for you if you can't make it out to Indianapolis for the 2018 DCI World Championships in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Historical DCI Season Comes To An End This Weekend

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

From top to bottom, the 2018 season has been one to remember with all of the crazy things that have happened so far. 

Fan Favorite: DCI Open Class Championships

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

Vote for your favorite Open Class corps of the day during the 2018 DCI Open Class World Championships! Although it might be a rainy night at Ames Field in Michigan City, IN, you can still vote for your favorite corps!

2018 DCI World Champs Prelims Schedule Announced

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

16 Open Class corps and all 24 of DCI's World Class corps will perform in Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday, August 9 for the 2018 DCI World Championships!

Open Class Champs Kick Off DCI Finals Week Today

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

The final week of the 2018 DCI season has come much too fast, but things kick off right away today with Open Class Champs!

FloMarching Fan Favorite: Allentown Results Are In!

Are Your Socks Even Ready For DCI Finals Week?

Music City has captured a couple of wins, Spirit has one, and Crown has one from NightBEAT. Which corps will join the fan favorites next? Plus, with so many corps in Allentown this weekend, it could be anyone!

Historical Allentown Ready For Two Day Regional

Cadets Battery In The Lot In SA

The Eastern Classic is simply one of the most cherished events in Drum Corps. It’s a back-to-back, two-night brawl between corps that are reaching their peaks, or staving it off for one more week.